Henko Partners invests in Defeder to boost its international growth

  • Defeder is a Spanish company specialized in the manufacture of organic fertilizers and organic raw materials for animal feed

Madrid, December 15, 2021. – Henko Partners, a new Spanish private equity firm, has completed its third investment since the recent launch of the fund by entering into the capital of the Huesca-based company Defeder.

Defeder is a manufacturer of organic fertilizers and organic raw materials for animal feed. The company has been growing at a rate of 40% in recent years, supported by the solid macro trend of the sectors in which it operates, as well as the highest quality and reliability standards of its products, 100% organic, prioritizing circular economy, sustainability and eco-viability.

In 2021, Defeder is consolidating its leadership in the organic fertilizer segment in Spain and France, main markets for the company, which is strongly internationalized.

With this transaction, Defeder’s founders, Raúl and Joaquín Saila, are looking to bring in a partner that will enable them to strengthen the company’s solid foundations, with the objective of taking advantage of multiple opportunities for future growth.

Defeder’s current management team will continue to lead the day-to-day running of the company, with the objective of Henko’s entry into the shareholding to provide resources and operational support, especially in the fields of commercial and product development, as well as potential inorganic growth.

Joaquín Saila considers that “the experience of Henko’s team in expansion projects will allow us to strengthen our positioning in different geographies and make the most of a growing market, driven by the high demand for ecological products and environmental sustainability”. According to Raúl Saila, “the incorporation of Henko also gives us the possibility of acquiring other companies, which would allow us to complement our product portfolio or geographic reach with greater speed”.

Lars Becker, Partner at Henko, adds: “We are very happy to support Raul and Joaquin in their growth plans. Working closely with founders with potential and good teams is key to our philosophy. In this case, with Defeder we also add a company that has shown a capacity for constant growth and improvement and that is perfectly positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for quality organic products for the agricultural industry”.

In addition, Francisco Miguel and José Luis Latorre, also join Defeder’s board, bringing their experience, vision and management skills to this project.

The transaction has been advised by EmpresaX and Cuatrecasas, as financial and legal advisors to the founders, and by Bird & Bird and Russell Bedford, as legal and financial advisors to Henko.

About Defeder:

Defeder is a company specialized in the manufacture of ecological fertilizers and organic raw materials for animal feed. Based in Monzón (Huesca), and founded in 2008 by brothers Raúl and Joaquín Saila, Defeder has a portfolio of products of the highest quality and reliability, 100% ecological and prioritizing circular economy, sustainability and eco-viability.

About Henko Capital Partners:

Henko Capital Partners is an independent private equity investor focused on supporting outstanding mid-cap companies in markets with long-term growth trends. The firm partners with strong entrepreneurs and management teams to develop successful businesses and actively engages with its portfolio companies to execute long-term growth plans. As entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, Henko aims to support companies to accelerate growth and transform into more resilient and sustainable businesses. The team has over 25 years of investment experience and a strong execution track-record with over 30 closed transactions. Henko is a responsible investor committed to strict environmental, social, and good governance principles. We aim to contribute to the long-term success of our investors and to a sustainable society.

See press notes

Press coverage

Web Capital Riesgo


· Private equity experience across Spain, Portugal, UK and Germany.


· Previously partner at Sherpa Capital, Spanish Private Equity with > €350m of assets under management (2020) focused on SMEs in Spain and Portugal.


· Partner at DPE Deutsche Private Equity, private equity fund targeting SMEs with €1.2bn of assets under management (2017).


· Morgan Stanley Capital Partners.


· MPA Harvard University, BSc from LSE London School of Economics.

Lars Becker


· Former EY Strategy and Transactions Analyst, providing corporate finance solutions in strategic advisory, valuation, m&a, financial restructuring and due diligence.


· Previous experience at UBS and Deutsche Bank.


· Master in Finance from IE Business School.


· Double degree in Business Administration and Actuarial Science from URJC.

Daniel Largo

· Previously Investment Associate at Sherpa Capital.


· Previous experience at BBVA and Amazon.


· Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering from ICAI (Universidad Pontificia Comillas)

Pablo Fernández

· Extensive experience in finance and management control.


· Previous experience as CFO and Client Operations Director at Jones Lang Lasalle, Bouygues and Carrefour, proven ability to implement action plans and process reengineering to improve the company performances.


· Degree in Business Administration from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and MBA by IE.

Vanesa Valentín

· João has a strong background in M&A advisory services in the Portuguese and Spanish markets.


· João started his career at KPMG Portugal providing corporate finance and M&A advisory services and he has also worked at Alantra´s Credit Portfolio Advisory division. 

· João has a MSc in Management and Finance from Cass Business School and a BSc in Business Administration from Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics.

João Oliveira

· Extensive private equity experience.


· Previously Investment Executive at Sherpa Capital.


· Previous experience at Ferrovial and Clearwater.


· Business Administration and Management Degree from Universidad de Navarra.

Íñigo Urbón


· Extensive private equity experience.


· Previously Investment Associate at Sherpa Capital.


· Previous experience at H.I.G. Capital and McKinsey & Company.


· Business Administration Degree and MSc in Finance from ESADE Business School.

Jules de Meeûs

· Extensive private equity experience.


· Previously Investment Executive at Sherpa Capital.


· Previous experience as an Assistant Manager at Deloitte Corporate Finance, participating in M&A transactions, debt raising and restructuring transactions; and Garrigues, leading Spanish law firm.


· Double degree in Law and Business Management (taught in English) from Universidad Pablo de Olavide.

Ricardo Mellado
Vice President